It was a perfect day for cross-country skiing. The snow was light and crisp. The cloudless sky made the snow glisten like diamonds. The mountains, with the mist rising from them, proudly stood guard over the valley through which we skied.
- Looking at this picture (left), we see a child sheltering his sister from bombs in Syria. The picture is both beautiful and horrific. It is beautiful in that this young child is shielding his small sister from the bombs with his own body. It is horrific in that vulnerable innocents should never be subjected to this.
- Just as many were taking down their Christmas decorations and continuing to enjoy presents powered by the micro-chip, groups of people were gathering in orchards across the world to join in a ceremony and ritual whose roots can be traced back at least two thousand years.
- Christmas is a celebration of new life and new possibilities. At the heart of this celebration is the birth of a baby, Jesus Christ, born in a remote place that few would have heard of heard of, to an unmarried mother, Mary, that few would have known.
- ‘Let me write the hymns of the Church and I care not who writes the theology,’ wrote Dr. R.W.Dale, minister of Carrs Lane Congregational Church, Birmingham in the second half of the nineteenth century. Dales’ comment springs into my mind around Remembrance Sunday and Christmas when hymns and carols become hot topics of discussion.
- Hands up if you have ever watched ‘Britain’s got talent’ (BGT). As most of you will know, BGT looks for skilled performers, especially those with a hidden talent and helps shape that talent for the bigger stage and wider world.
- Over the last few days we have been watching a political dynasty, built up over 37 years, unravelling before us. Zimbabwe. Not long after Robert Mugabe became president, my family and I moved to neighbouring Zambia where I served as a parish priest.
- If ever love, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation were needed in our world and in our lives, now is the time. We are hearing dreadful stories of thousands of Rohinja people being forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh.
- Just as an older generation remember where they were when they heard news of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, so a younger generation remember where they were when they heard of Princess Diana’s accident and death in 1997.
- This evening we celebrate church and community enjoying each other’s company, drawn together by the gift of music. Over these days, some very talented artists are providing a wonderful programme of music, song and dance in this lovely West Somerset Village of Stogumber.